How do you write?

So how do you write?  I mean this literally – do you write at a keyboard, pecking away at your stories in the dead of night?  Or are you a cafe writer, pen and journal in hand?  Or are you a papyrus and peacock-quill sort of chap?

I ask because for the new book I am trying something new, myself.  I’ve always been glued to my laptop  and in some ways I think I am addicted to the glow of the computer screen.  So to shake things up, I’m trying the new book longhand.  I know several writers who work this way and they swear by it.

Plus, I can always use the practice in penmanship.  My handwriting has a palsy-like quality to it . . .

So my question is – How do you write?

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8 Responses to “How do you write?”

  1. I saw your post while tag surfing. I use the laptop or desktop 90% of the time. I always carry a little pocket notebook though, in case my muse starts while I’m away from the computers. I find it easier to write in the notebook sometimes, though I end up typing it all out later that evening anyhow.

    Best wishes on the book!

  2. I’m strictly a computer guy. The last time I wrote something out in longhand was in 1985 for a report due in college. I used my new word processing program (a very basic one loaded on my Atari 520ST) to transcribe my squiggles and as I was typing I realized how much time I wasted by not composing directly at the keyboard. I’ve never looked back. I know that some people believe there’s a pacing issue with writing longhand that allows the brain to sinc with the process at hand so that the first draft is closer to being the final product. But, when I write in longhand all I get is a sense of frustration.

  3. Me too. I’ve just come back from a research trip where I had to take hand-written notes, and it’s a bit annoying to have to re-type them. My handwriting isn’t good enough to inspire me. It’s strictly information.

  4. In goblin blood!

  5. Mostly at my poor, decaying keyboard but I scribble notes throughout the day and generally come home from work with a pocketful of post-it notes. Brainstorming mostly goes on within a ledger pad.

    And I’ve never been able to write in a cafe — though I’ve been tempted to try it at the Starbucks at JFK. It’s kind of like Logan’s Run out there.

  6. Hi Matt. Found your site while tag surfing.

    Generally, I use my laptop (and previously my desktop) to put together actual drafts of things, whether plays, short prose, etc. Sometimes I’ll type out fragments of things to work into the larger whole–bits of dialogue or whatever, depending on the genre I’m in.

    I always have a journal on hand to handwrite notes, outlines, monologues, general thoughts, etc. I have larger works that have their own designated journal. Most of my solo performance pieces so far have been initially worked out by hand. It seems to be the next best thing to thinking out loud.

    I’ve noticed that over the years, if I’m going to go portable, I’ll still take a journal with me instead of my laptop. Just haven’t gotten much in the habit of taking the whole thing with me (except when I did NaNoWriMO).

    And that’s my story. 🙂

    Thanks, btw, for the NY Times link to the Gary Gygax write up. I’m feeling some sort of cultural round up brewing and will include it.

    Happy writing!

  7. I write primarily on the laptop, but find it very easy to get distracted. So I take a tiny notebook around with me and get the kernels of scenes and conversations down when I’m at work, or on the tram, and that allows me to focus on developing them once I’m home.

  8. I write my best stuff with pencil on unlined paper. I draw when I need ideas. Sometimes a whole scene will come to me in a doodle. I also write and edit on the computer with InDesign. I tried writing with a Speedball pen dipping it in ink. It did work great! The bit I wrote came to life, was creative and didn’t need much revision.

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